Mondays are super busy for me. Yesterday started with an 8am test in ethics, followed by classes all day long, an exam in Biochemistry, and ending with cadaver lab until 6pm. I stayed later in cadaver lab than I usually do---there was just one other student left in there, and three TA's and the instructor. The instructor actually quizzed us on the parts that we are supposed to know, and give hints! I am grateful to have a teacher who actually teaches. I am grateful to have a chance to study in the lab without all those hurried and impolite young students in there. I get the feeling some of those students don't like me, or at least they are rude. They don't respond when I ask a question, and they make no attempt to let me in so that I can see when some body part is being examined or discussed. A couple of them hold their clipboards so that no one else can see the cadaver. I find the whole scene irritating, and I was glad that batch of kids left early. I am not going to lab early anymore. I will take a real break after my previous biochemistry class, maybe go for a short walk, then show up for lab late and stay late. I have a plan.
Suzanne is checking the BBC news and they mention Ron Paul in the US presidential race, even though he trails behind--as opposed to the American media which studiously ignores him. She asks, "Are we all that stupid?", well, I believe that yes we are. Americans are brainwashed, at least. If someone doesn't rate on TV, then they don't rate. Period. The television will be, I believe, one of the root causes for the bankrupting and destruction of this nation. The rest of the world is rooting for Ron Paul, and that is another piece of the puzzle. America has come to believe that we are the boss of the world, and what the rest of the world thinks doesn't matter. What a rude awakening it will be. Our nation is an infant with too much power.
I'm psyched about what we're learning in biochemistry. In my previous biochem class (at NAU in Flagstaff) we covered proteins and carbs, and did not make it to lipids. Finally we're deep enough into lipids to be looking at eicosanoids and prostaglandins.....yesterday he talked about aspirin, NSAIDS, steroids etc as antiinflammatories, and showed the synthesis pathway affected in different ways by all of them. Fascinating. This deserves much deeper study.
I talked yesterday with a fellow student who has decided that he is dropping out of the ND program. Considering how tenuous my conviction to continue has been, it was good to listen to him and his reasons for switching to Chinese medicine only. After listening to his reasons, I am more sure that I am on the right track. I am not psyched about the quality of the lectures, and organization (or lack thereof) of the administration, or the funkiness of the ancient facility, but I am sure that having a four year medical degree will set me up to be of greater help when I set up my frontier medical practice. I get psyched everytime I hear consideration of laws to help underserved marginalized country populations by helping them get doctors, because that is where I want to be----out in the boonies. Top of the drainage, end of the road, up in the mountains.
I have to confess, the professor I bitched about so much early on (Brons) is offering much better lectures these days. Perhaps it is just that he is lecturing on subjects that he knows well, and that he has been working on these power point presentations for more years. The power points are better organized, shorter and more to the point, and the lectures have wider ranging comments about clinical implications of various anatomical and physiological variations. I have hope that these pieces may begin to fall together in a bigger picture. I can begin to see new links, in addition to the ones that I already knew about. I also feel much better about the boards now that I have learned about the cut scores, and that the questions on the boards are weighted relative to their clinical importance. Thank goodness. That, at least, makes sense to me.
Sunday night we watched Jeremiah Johnson, a movie from the 70's I think, with Robert Redford playing a mountain man. It's one of Suzanne's favorite movies, and now it is one of mine. The soundtrack throughout is fantastic, the story is riveting, and the characters are respectable. Johnson started out mighty green, a total "pilgrim" but by luck and by sticking to his integrity, he survived. The story is a tragedy, but it is a beautiful story too. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me of one of my favorite fiction books of all time, Watch for me on the Mountain by Forrest Carter. It's about the life of Geronimo the Apache. I recommend this book, and all books by this author.
Too bad the stories of exceptional humans all seem to be tragedies.
Sunday afternoon I was studying biochem with a group of other NCNM students. There was no mention of the Superbowl. I was glad. I have zero interest in football and find the American obsession with violent sports distasteful. Today is Super Tuesday, a big day in some states, but here in Oregon there is bitterness that our primary is late enough in the lineup as to be utterly irrelevant. The feeling is that the nominees of each party for the presidential race will be all sewed up after today. I can only hope that Ron Paul will have a strong enough showing somewhere to still get a mention in US papers. I'm totally annoyed at McCain's "comeback". Support for him is proof that people are more afraid of change than they are uncomfortable with the status quo.
Einstein quote of the day:
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."